Due to this current Covid-19 pandemic, the global textile industry has become standstill. As a result, Bangladesh whose economy highly depends on this industry, has been suffering from the negative impact more severely. Until now, over 3.25 Billion USD worth of orders has been cancelled which has affected around 1,200 factories. The cancellation of the order and factory shutdown has caused 1 million people to lose their jobs.
The layoff has affected the lower income people most, specially the slum women where their male earning members are also out jobs for the ongoing crisis. As the country’s economy is going downturn, there is a scarcity of new jobs and these women are struggling to find any opportunities to be able to support their families. These underprivileged slum women are getting exposed to extreme poverty currently and the economic hardship is also making them more vulnerable to the Covid-19.
To mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic and ensure proper health safety among the people from the unprivileged communities in Bangladesh, within the project framework, 250 women have received training on basic sewing for mask production. A total of 60,000 masks have been produced and distributed within the project timeframe. Also, they have received training in basic tailoring including cutting, trimming, and mending.
After successfully completion of the training, participants have received a free sewing machine in order to start their own sewing and tailoring business and generated income for their families. The response centres have also included a first-aid room for regular check-ups of the trainees, workers, and the community to support the preventive measures taken against the spreading of the virus. Additionally, hygiene and sanitation training have been conducted to raise awareness for the Coronavirus and COVID-19.